Thai Banking Giant Backs Scheme to Help Small Businesses in Mon and Thanintharyi

One of Thailand’s largest banks has teamed up with Myanmar for a scheme aimed at helping small businesses in Mon state and Thanintharyi in the southeast.

The scheme, backed by Kasikornbank, will offer training programmes and financial assistance for entrepreneurs and mom-and-pop businesses in the region’s staple industries, which include rubber, fishing and fruit.

After starting in the southeastern regions, the scheme will be expanded across the country.

The SME Capacity Building Program 2017, aimed at small and me­dium sized enterprises, will launch in May. It follows an agreement be­tween the Thai banking giant and the Myanmar government’s Central Department of Small and Medium Enterprises De­velopment (CDSMED).

“SME businesses are essential for economic development and the sec­tor needs assistance to keep abreast with foreign countries,” said Daw Aye Aye Win, director general of CDSMED, which oper­ates under the Ministry of Industry.

“Kasikornbank is going to help develop the sec­tor, and we will start our scheme in the states and regions neighbouring Thailand,” she added.

“Mon state has a lot of potential for SME busi­nesses and an abundance of raw materials. But most are struggling from a shortage of technology and finance,” said U Hla Shein, chairman of the Mon State Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The state needs as­sistance to improve the quality of its output of rubber, fruits and marine products in order to ex­port foreign countries, he added.

“Agriculture is a major area for SMEs in Mon state, but water delivery and irrigation, as well as training on the proper use of fertilizers and quality seeds are urgently need­ed,” said Naing Thaung Nyunt, a Member of Par­liament from Mawla­myine, the state capital.

After Mon and Tanin­tharyi, the Ministry of In­dustry aims to roll the as­sistance programme out in Taunggyi, Shan state, in June, before targeting Yangon, Mandalay, and Bago, where most of the county’s SMEs operate.

Food producers account for 59 percent of all SMEs in Myanmar, according to government figures, while SMEs in the tourism sec­tor make up 27 percent of the total. Another 8 per­cent operate in the con­struction industry and 6 percent in garments.

 

Source: Myanmar Business Today

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